By Michael Odeng
Hearing of the case in which Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party president, Olara Otunu is accused of defaming President Yoweri Museveni failed to take-off due to missing police file.
State prosecutor, Peter Mugisha Tuesday told court presided over by grade one magistrate, Araali Muhiirwa, that the file was re-called by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for perusal.
“Your worship, I pray for an adjournment of the case since trial cannot proceed without the police file,” Mugisha said.
This prompted the trial magistrate to adjourn the case to July 30 next month. He also extended his bail.
On January 16, 2013 while at the UPC party headquarters at Uganda House, Otunnu with intent to defame President Museveni allegedly made defamatory remarks.
Otunu’s troubles stem from a press conference he addressed pointing out several major episodes of atrocities and crimes at times when Museveni was in command.
These episodes include: atrocities in Luwero while General Museveni commanded an insurgent force between 1981 and 1986; the massacres of Muslims in Ankole in 1979, when General Museveni was commander of the Western Axis of anti-Amin forces, composed mainly of his FRONASA contingent.
Others include the massacre at Ombaci, in West Nile, in 1981; the scorched-earth counter-insurgency operations and genocide in northern and eastern Uganda between 1986 and 2006; and the wanton killing of unarmed demonstrators on the streets of Kampala, in September 2009.
He allegedly pointed out that a lot of disappearances and mysterious deaths had occurred under Museveni’s watch and authority since the Front for National Salvation’s (FRONASA) struggles to date, saying they should be investigated.
This prompted the Attorney General to write to the UPC president giving him five days to make a public apology for his remarks or face legal action.
Otunnu has since refused to make any apologies for his statement.